Hire A Web Developer, Don’t Build It Yourself

Why would I hire a web developer? Isn’t it cheaper to sign up for Shopify, Wix, or Squarespace? Can’t I just buy a theme and set it up all by myself?

If you’ve asked these questions before then chances are you tried to do it all by yourself and didn’t realize what you had gotten yourself into until you began. Sure you may be a DIYer who loves to create pallet furniture and find new uses for old hardware around the house, but your website (be it personal or business) is not something you can afford to mess up.

You can’t afford to mess up your website for 2 reasons. 1) because your site is a public display of you or your business and 2) because fixing a mess takes more time and money which could’ve been put to better use from the beginning.

I understand though, you like to get things done for yourself. Me too! There are plenty of projects that I take on that have nothing to do with web development, but there are things that I simply can’t do, or can’t do well at least.

For instance, I wouldn’t dare try to fix electrical problems in my home unless I were an electrician. You likewise wouldn’t try to raise your ceilings unless you were a contractor. Why? Because these are projects that require a lot of skill, knowledge, labor, and experience.

But building a website is different right? You don’t need to hire a web developer. After all anyone can create a website, so it doesn’t require much skill or knowledge. Wrong! Sure anyone can try to build a website, in the same way anyone can try rewire a kitchen’s electrical outlets. The question you have to ask yourself is how much time and effort can you really devote to this? How many hours will it take you just to move the ball a short distance down the road?

Ok you got me, so why should I hire a web developer? What are the specific benefits of not just doing it myself?

Well to begin, anytime you hire a professional you are hiring that person to do a job that he/she is qualified to do. A professional web developer has spent countless hours learning and doing that task which you want them to do for you. When you hire a web developer you are paying him for the expertise that he has picked up over the years.

That may not be news to you, but it must be stated simply because many people think that to hire a web developer is pointless today.

Web development has evolved exponentially over the past decade to mean many different things. It used to be as simple as writing code, and then publishing that code online. Nowadays a web developer is almost always expected to be able to meet the following requirements.

  1. Install & update themes
  2. Install plugins
  3. Manage a server
  4. Manage email
  5. Write code for SEO
  6. Build websites from scratch
  7. Build themes from scratch
  8. Build plugins from scratch
  9. Implement new technologies on old projects
  10. etc

It’s evident that the bar has been raised quite a bit, and this is exactly why you should hire a web developer to handle your website. A web developer is fit for the task ahead of him, and he can perform that task quickly and professionally. Whether you decide to install a theme, or create a project from scratch, your best bet is to hire someone who knows how to do the job so that you can continue to do what you’re good at; running your business.

Should I Pay For Website Development Or Use A Theme?

The internet has changed website development. Not that that’s big news or anything, but the reality is that the more it changes the more confused people tend to get. As a website developer, I’ve seen this first hand in the interactions I’ve had with potential customers over the past 3 years of being self-employed.

The rise of major players in the web design/development industry, and the fall of many small website development firms has also played a big role in this confusion. In this article I’ll try to clarify a few misconceptions and hopefully help you decide which route is best for you and your business.

What Is Custom Website Development?

Let’s start off by clarifying that both custom website development and themes require extensive web development. Both options require an individual or team of developers to take a design and create the code necessary for it to run. Both options likewise have many of the same obstacles to overcome when they’re are being developed including speed, cross browser support, mobile support, and ease of use.

Custom website development is distinct from a theme in that custom website development is not only the process of setting up a website for your business, but the process of finding your business’ unique needs and then creating a solution that is specific to those needs.

A web development agency that provides custom website development as a service will not only be able to deliver a nice looking website to your business, but will also take many things into consideration. They must first understand your business in depth, this usually happens after many visitations with you so that the agency can get an understanding of the product/service you offer. The agency must also have an understanding of your average customer and the process that the customer takes when making a decision to purchase from you. Once these steps have been taken the agency will work hard to build your business a comprehensive solution that will help your customers purchase from you.

In short custom website development is a multi-faceted process to provide your business with the best online solution possible.

What Are Website Themes?

Website themes are pre packaged website layouts that can be customized to the look and feel of your business. Themes are usually very affordable and can come with many options for layouts, colors, logos, etc. Themes can also be very confusing to someone who is not used to handling them because they’re created to be used by multiple people for multiple applications.

Does this mean that a theme can’t be used to meet your business’ online needs? Not exactly. Themes can be very broad in their application or very specific. In many instances theme developers will create themes specific to an industry to meet the needs of that industry as a whole. This can be very beneficial to your business because it allows you to get premium features that would normally be very costly to build in custom development.

Themes can also be very risky. Not all theme developers are experts, and in many cases themes can be done in such a way that they end up worsening the situation rather than helping. On the bright side you can always hire an expert web developer to setup and maintain your theme while still remaining on a friendly budget. The developer should be involved in choosing the theme, because as the expert he will be able to discern which themes are safe and which themes you should avoid.

Final Thoughts

Like I said before website development can be a bit confusing. Because of the success of search engines (namely Google) your website is the first impression that most potential customers will get of your business, so it is important to make sure that it helps them to buy from you. Whether you decide to go with a theme or custom website development is entirely up to you, your business’ needs, and your budget. Either way it’s important that you use a good developer who is an expert in this area. If you would like more information or are interested in custom website development or refreshing your current website with a brand new theme feel free to contact me!